Dr. Dennis Thombs has been named as the new dean of the School of Public Health at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth.
[Photo: Dr. Dennis Thombs]
Dr. Thombs has been serving as interim dean since August 2015 and was selected for the position from among a nationwide search of candidates.
He has been with UNT Health Science Center since 2010 and has previously served as professor and chair of the Department of Behavioral and Community Health; acting associate dean for academic affairs; director of the school’s MPH community health program; and acting director for the Texas Prevention Institute.
“We welcome Dr. Thombs to this new position and look forward to his leadership in moving the School of Public Health to prominence,” said Dr. Thomas Yorio, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and research.
During his career, Dr. Thombs has served on the faculty at the University of Florida, Kent State University and the State University of New York at Brockport.
Dr. Thombs has made major research contributions to the study of alcohol and drug use in the adolescent and young adulthood population. Over the last 25 years, his work has examined the role of peer norms in facilitating heavy, episodic drinking and impaired driving; identified specific pharmacologic, genetic, economic and site risk factors that contribute to unsafe patron intoxication levels in the on premise setting; and developed evidence-based, mental health first aid strategies to connect persons in need with professional mental health treatment resources.
Dr. Thombs’ research has been supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institute of Mental Health and the U.S. Department of Education. He has authored more than 85 articles in peer-reviewed national and international journals, and is the author of one of the leading textbooks on addiction, Introduction to Addictive Behaviors, published by the Guilford Press, and now in its fourth edition.
Dr. Thombs was named as a Fellow in the American Academy of Health Behavior in 2005, and served as president of the Academy from 2009 to 2010.